Finally, some good news from the world of television
Torrential downpour means a drive to school, which means a detour for a triple vente latte, which means morning neighbourhood traffic ‘cause everyone forgets how to drive in the rain, which means a very late posting, which means one or two of you might care.
Or you might not as I digress.
You do know we dodged a bullet tonight, right? The original TV schedule I got yesterday morning had the Chicago-Boston, Dallas-San Antonio doubleheader on TSN2, which really irked me. The other one (Philly-Orlando and Houston-Portland) was on The Score but not being able to see Bulls-Celtics was the big issue.
Well, I’m not sure which saner heads prevailed where – I presume Maple Leaf Sports was involved somehow – but another schedule landed about 3:30 that had the Chicago-Boston, Dallas-San Antonio twinbill switched over to RaptorsTV.
It’s a 7 p.m. start and we’ll be in our usual place to do the live blog if anyone wants to stop around.
And now …
ABOUT LAST NIGHT
Byron’s last stand?
Look, there were whispers around the league that perhaps Byron Scott’s time was coming to an end even before these playoffs began but losing by 58 FREAKING POINTS AT HOME! Surely that’s the death knell, no?
Now, you know I’m a pretty big supporter of coaches, generally; I think they get too much blame when things go wrong and too much credit when things to go right. I think coaches who are considered “good” are coaches with the best talent.
The Hornets had no toughness, no answers offensively, no defensive play and no heart. And as much as I’d like to suggest they get rid of eight or nine of the players who came up with such a despicable performance in the biggest game of their season, if Scott had one foot out the door before, this is the game that spells the end.
So, how’d it happen?
The biggest thing, to me, is that the Hornets just didn’t have the mental resolve early.
It’s like they knew the Nuggets were tougher – mentally and physically – and they had no desire to fight back. And that’s strange to me given how much I’ve heard about Chris Paul’s desire and attitude and game.
But he was the most disappointing of all of them. He let Dahntay Jones push him around and stop him cold and that’s not what great players do.
Yes, the coach is going to get the heat; the all-stars (including David West) need to have their feet held to the fire, too.
Speaking of home dogs
How about the Heat?
A chance to put the series pretty much out of reach and they come out and shoot something like 21 per cent in the first quarter and 37 per cent in the first half and get themselves so far buried they end up losing? And, yes, I know Jermaine O’Neal had another statistically strong game but so did the guy he was playing against, Zaza Pachulia and O’Neal had nine of his 20 in the first seven or eight minutes.
As our good friend Ira points out here, there’s lots of ways the Heat blew this one.
The shocking thing to me? Two points off the bench? TWO POINTS. That’s almost Rpator-esque.
Lakers win series, Kobe great
Seriously, has one series been as absolutely uneventful and conducted in such relative anonymity, as that Laker-Jazz one that's now over. One kind of good game (Game 3, the Deron Williams shot) but the sense of inevitability was overwhelming and I don't imagine there's a person in the world surprised that it's over so soon.
The good thing? It gets the Lakers some rest, not that they're injured or anything, but I'm not entirely convinced how mentally strong they are (outside of that Bryant fellow and Derek Fisher) and not having many close games may make it easier for them as the post-season progresses.
Peter, during the in-game blog last night, wondered this:
Q: Since blog topics are tough to find, can you tell us how it works between someone like yourself and Bryan Colangelo? Can you call him anytime? Directly? If it's a paragraph or two, I wouldn't mind hearing how that process works in a morning blog
A: It’s a good relationship, one that develops over the course of time and, yeah, I can make a call any day, to either the office or the cell, if I’ve got something on my mind. And I don’t think there’s been one time that I’ve left a message if he’s out and not had a call returned.
Of course, it’s not something I want to abuse so it’s not like I make a call every day. But every other day or so, just a quick check to see if anything’s going on, or to check on the veracity of some other report, or to have some specific query answered, is not out of the norm.
And every now and then, one of those “cold calls” (like, ‘hey, I heard rumblings about this, is it true?” or “what do you think about this idiotic thought of mine?”) yields a good off-day story.
One thing that’s become apparent in the first week of the playoffs, at least to me, is that Matt Devlin and P.J. Carlesimo have quickly developed some good chemistry as a play-by-play and analyst team working for TNT.
I guess I’m not all that surprised because both of them are professionals and really easy-to-get-along-with guys but, as we heard with the NBA-TV duo last night in the Denver-New Orleans game, nothing is for sure when strange duos are put together to do broadcasts.
You know that Denver’s 58-point edging of New Orleans last night represents the greatest margin of victory in game ever by the Nuggets, right? You know what’s now second?
It was 39 points.
And you know when that was, right?
Who wins tonight? I wish I knew but I do now that there’s a chance for four very good games, which is going to make the evening quite a lot of fun.
Of course, we’re all looking forward to Chicago-Boston because that’s the series that’s caught everyone’s attention the most but don’t sleep on Philly-Orlando. As good as the other East one’s been, three of the four Sixer-Magic games have come down to a last possession and that’s pretty impressive.